Vegan Minestrone Primavera

Theo Randall

Theo Randall

30th October 2017

Vegan Minestrone Primavera

Minestrone Primavera by Theo Randall, Chef Patron of Theo Randall at the InterContinental. Serves 4 as a substantial starter or for lunch. (Photography by John Carey)‘Primavera’ indicates the start of the new season, and this is the first soup we make in the restaurant when peas, broad beans and asparagus appear. The trick is to have a smooth base and chunky pieces of the vegetables. The soup can be served either hot or cold.

Ingredients

  • For the minestrone:
  • 150g asparagus, chopped
  • 100g shelled fresh peas
  • 100g shelled fresh, small broad beans
  • 150g fine French beans, chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 head of celery, finely chopped
  • 200g waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 500ml fresh vegetable stock
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional, pesto:
  • 1/2 garlic clove, peeled
  • handful of basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, preferably Mediterranean
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan (OMIT THE PARMESAN CHEESE FOR VEGANS)
  • 240ml extra virgin olive oil.
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Blanch the asparagus, peas, broad beans and French beans in a pan of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside on a tray.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a saucepan, add the spring onions, celery and potatoes, and fry for about 3 minutes until the spring onions are soft, stirring occasionally. Add the blanched vegetables and fry for a further 5 minutes.
Pour in the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in the double cream and season with salt and pepper. Serve in bowls with a drizzle of fresh pesto on top.
Optional, pesto:
Crush the garlic with a pinch of sea salt in a mortar and pestle, or on a chopping board using a spoon – the garlic should form a soft paste.
Transfer the garlic to a food processor and add the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan and 2 tablespoons water. Blitz until all the ingredients are finely chopped and a smooth paste has formed.
Add the olive oil and pulse for 2 seconds (if you pulse longer the oil will emulsify).

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